What does the election mean for the housing market?

what-does-the-election-mean-for-the-housing-market?

We speak to thousands of people across the country each year about how they’re feeling about moving home. And with a general election on the horizon, we wanted to know if it will impact the nation’s moving plans in 2024.

Our insight* shows that 95% of people planning to move home say the upcoming election will not affect their plans.

Our property expert, Tim Bannister, says: “With the date now set for a summer general election, we anticipate that housing market activity will remain steady in the lead-up to the election based on previous patterns. This is further supported by the current attitude among home-movers, with the majority indicating that the election will not affect their plans.

“Over the past four years, home-movers have faced numerous challenges, including a global pandemic, a shortage of housing supply, and rapidly changing prices. For many, 2024 is finally the year to make their move, and they’re determined to proceed with their plans to secure their next home,” he adds.

What happened around past elections?

We’ve also looked at what happened in the housing market in previous general elections, in 2015 and 2019. Importantly, we can see that the market remained steady, both before and during the election period.

In fact, there was a bounce in activity after the 2015 and 2019 elections.

In 2015, demand from buyers was consistent leading up to the election, which was held in May. Demand then increased the following month, and was 18% higher than the year before. 

Similarly in 2019, demand remained stable in the months prior, and saw an annual increase of 13% in the December election month. This was followed by an annual increase in buyer demand of 14% in January 2020.

Buyer demand is measured by looking at the number of people sending enquiries about homes for sale on Rightmove.

Buyer demand around 2015 election

Month Demand (year on year change)
March 2015 5%
April 2015 6%
May 2015 (election month) 9%
June 2015 18%

Buyer demand around 2019 election

Month Demand (year on year change)
October 2019 1%
November 2019 4%
December 2019 (election month) 13%
January 2020 14%

Tim adds: “Previous elections would indicate we may be set for a particularly strong summer once the election is over, especially if interest rates start to fall. However, every election is different, and it would depend on whether any significant housing policies are also introduced, so we’ll need to wait and see what happens to have a better view of activity for the rest of the year.”

*Survey data from Rightmove’s spring survey, with 14,322 responses, collected between 18th – 23rd May 2024 

The header image for this article was provided courtesy of Hackney & Leigh, Keswick